Here I go again, being all late with the blogging and stuff. My excuses this time are that we were out of town for a family wedding for a week, then we lost power after a terrible storm the day after we got back and had no internet connection, then we had two events to attend the past two evenings, which is usually the time I reserve for blogging. But I finally got around to Alex's 23 month post, to be followed by the account of our big week in Peoria. Eventually.
Now on to the good stuff.
To best describe this past month with Alex, I would have to borrow a few words from the great Charles Dickens:
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
It has been a challenging month in terms of trying to handle Alex's outbursts, which have become more and more frequent now that the Terrible Twos are in full force. He is so full of life and energy and spirit, which makes him the funniest, sweetest, and most entertaining boy on earth. But he also has a wicked temper and is super dramatic, acting as if his life will end because his banana broke in half when he tried to eat it. And it doesn't help that he inherited his mother's patience (or lack thereof). I mean really, Alex, you can't give me thirty seconds to pull the milk out of the fridge and pour it before you throw yourself to the floor and scream, "Miiiilk!! Miiiiiiilk!!"? Pretty soon I am going to start filling your sippy with milk and then downing it right in front of you, as you kick and scream in protest, because apparently that's what you think I am going to do anyway. Then at least your fits won't be in vain.
Thankfully, most of his tantrums are short-lived, and he responds well to Time Outs and spankings (and sometimes threats alone are sufficient). But the process of disciplining a toddler is exhausting in every way, from determining which consequences are appropriate for which offenses, to executing those punishments throughout the day. Especially because so many of his fits are completely unfounded and utterly senseless, and nothing I do seems to solve his problem - whatever it is.
Of course, not every day is bad, and in fact, the greater part of most days I spend laughing at Alex or with him. He is more fun than ever, especially now that he is talking so much, and I am just reveling in all of the new things he learns everyday. He counts to ten regularly and is working on ten to twenty, he can say the alphabet and recognize all of the letters when he sees them, knows his shapes, his animals, parts of his body, speaks in many two and three word phrases, loves to sing songs and dance, love to tickle and be tickled, and loves to chase after his Murphy pup.
He probably thinks his mother is the dumbest person on earth since I spend most of the day asking him what an elephant says or where his eyebrow is. He's got to be thinking, "Geez, woman, I've told you where my eyebrow is twelve times today. Do we really need to go over this again?" I can't help it. I love that he knows the answers to my questions, that he can understand what I'm saying, that he can obey commands, and that we are actually starting to communicate in a "normal" way. His favorite words this month are "apple juice", which he says when he wants apple juice, when referring to apple juice, and often at random times between sips of apple juice. It seems that he really likes the way it sounds.
He has become so bossy this past month, and will tell all of us - Murphy included - what to do. "Mommy, sit!" and "Daddy, draw!" and "Murphy, go!" And of course, he will then tell us where to sit and what to draw and where to go, because clearly, all of us are on this earth to serve His Highness. But to be fair, the bossiness thing goes both ways because I can finally tell him, "Alex, go tell your dad that it's time to eat," then off he goes to find his dad, calling, "Daaaddddy, aaaare you?" until he finds him and tells him, "Daddy, eat!"
He is waaay into trains this month, hollering, "COO-COOOO!!!" everytime he sees something that resembles one, sounds like one, or smells like one. Actually, if something smells, he shouts, "P.U.!!!" and waves his hand in front of his face. That's definitely his second favorite phrase this month. And while I try (and often fail) to limit his TV watching, he has finally seen enough episodes of Sesame Street to know who Elmo is. However, Mr. Noodle is by far his favorite.
He is definitely becoming more independent and has started to express preferences when it comes to what clothes he will wear and how the blankets on his bed should be arranged. He will often entertain himself for long periods of time, reading a book or playing in his playroom or trying to open the locks on the computer cabinet with a set of tiny keys.
Sometimes when I make him a PB&J and crackers for lunch, I will let him eat at his little table in the corner of the living room instead of in his high chair at the table. And every time he goes to his little table and pulls out his little chair and sits by himself in the corner, quietly eating his lunch and enjoying some alone time, I get butterflies thinking about how far we have come in the last 23 months. Things are bound to get better - and worse - over the course of the next month, and I am going to spend that time trying to appreciate those better times and laugh off the worse ones. That, or I will inevitably end up committed to the nearest mental institution. I'm really hoping the former proves true...